Stamps have the horses to compete

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:07 PM ET

When Anthony Calvillo arrived in Calgary this week, he was asked about the last time he was pulled from a game.

After a few seconds to ponder, the Montreal Alouettes quarterback didn't really have a definitive answer.

If anybody asks the same question this week, he will certainly remember.

In one of the biggest signs that the Calgary Stampeders took control of the Alouettes Friday night at McMahon Stadium was that of Calvillo on the sidelines in the fourth quarter.

The 46-21 victory showed that the Stamps -- when healthy and motivated -- have the horses to compete with the league's best, even dominate them occasionally.

"We made a statement to ourselves, but we know right now that the job isn't done," said Stamps quarterback Henry Burris, who went 19-of-28 for 412 yards and four touchdown tosses.

"We've got a tough opponent in Montreal -- again -- and we know they're going to have a chip on their shoulder."

The reason Calvillo was questioned about being pulled was because it was Burris who got the hook a week earlier against the B.C. Lions.

As surprising as the 29-10 hiccup was Sept. 25, Friday night's pounding of the East Division leaders was on the same level in the opposite direction.

Burris and the offence came out gunning right from the opening possession, as the pivot hooked up with Romby Bryant for a 61-yard TD on the first drive.

His next play, a 100-yard pass and run toss to Ken-Yon Rambo, set the tone for the entire contest.

"We wanted to take some shots down the field," said Stamps head coach John Hufnagel. "When you do that, you hope to win more than you lose.

"The first one we attempted was a great throw and catch to get into the endzone. Any time you score coming out of the gate, it gives you momentum."

Through a two-game losing streak, the Stamps had different areas go cold.

In a 43-37 overtime loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders Sept. 17, the defence couldn't stop the deep passes.

Against the Lions, it was offence and special teams that were lacking with intensity.

The Stamps showed when all three phases show up, they can be deadly.

It's not like Calvillo or the Alouettes played all that poorly.

Calvillo did throw three touchdowns, all on drives of 91, 80 and 86 yards.

The simple fact was the Stamps were better, especially on offence.

The addition of Nik Lewis back to the receiving corps seemed to solve any of the problems they had against the Lions when he sat with a knee injury.

His 36-yard touchdown in which he drove over Mark Estelle was vintage Lewis.

If the Stamps remain healthy and keep up the intensity level over the final five weeks of the season, they should be representing the West Division in the Grey Cup.

They first want to focus on a return meeting with the Alouettes on Thanksgiving, the site of their worst loss in 2009.

"Trust me, that would be a huge statement if we can go out there and get a big victory," Burris said. "We're satisfied with the win (Friday) but we know the hard work isn't over yet, and to get that one out there would be humongous for us."


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